Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

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BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?)

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Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Mon May 04, 2020 3:32 pm

Hi, I have a 3.79 (likely top ten percent but no ranks given) from a top 25 school (not in the northeast). P/F in spring. Have an electrical engineering undergrad, an MBA, and eight years of work exp - energy, some tech, founded a couple of successful startups (not VC backed though). Have one CALI award. International student; can speak 4 languages fluently. Summer - non-profit, RA with vice-dean, and clinic. Chances at HLS? (WLed by HLS twice in previous cycles)

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by LBJ's Hair » Tue May 05, 2020 11:35 am

I would think no shot. You're meaningfully below their 25th percentile transfer GPA, and your school is good but not unusually so.

Unfortunately for you, I suspect there will be a lot of 4.0 transferee applicants, given the switch to P-F. Lot harder to get it over 2 semesters.

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Tue May 05, 2020 4:02 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:I would think no shot. You're meaningfully below their 25th percentile transfer GPA, and your school is good but not unusually so.

Unfortunately for you, I suspect there will be a lot of 4.0 transferee applicants, given the switch to P-F. Lot harder to get it over 2 semesters.
Hey, that's an interesting point. I think that should be true. More disparity in the GPAs if only one semester; convergence if two semesters. Thanks for that!

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by LBJ's Hair » Tue May 05, 2020 4:19 pm

BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:I would think no shot. You're meaningfully below their 25th percentile transfer GPA, and your school is good but not unusually so.

Unfortunately for you, I suspect there will be a lot of 4.0 transferee applicants, given the switch to P-F. Lot harder to get it over 2 semesters.
Hey, that's an interesting point. I think that should be true. More disparity in the GPAs if only one semester; convergence if two semesters. Thanks for that!
No problem. On the flip side, your GPA is still very good, and who knows how it would have gone this semester. Sorta hurts at Harvard, but a net plus I'd think, for OCI/other transfer opportunities

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Tue May 05, 2020 11:21 pm

Right. Let's see how it goes. Should hopefully help somewhere.

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by plurilingue » Wed May 06, 2020 11:20 am

LBJ's Hair wrote:
BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:I would think no shot. You're meaningfully below their 25th percentile transfer GPA, and your school is good but not unusually so.

Unfortunately for you, I suspect there will be a lot of 4.0 transferee applicants, given the switch to P-F. Lot harder to get it over 2 semesters.
Hey, that's an interesting point. I think that should be true. More disparity in the GPAs if only one semester; convergence if two semesters. Thanks for that!
No problem. On the flip side, your GPA is still very good, and who knows how it would have gone this semester. Sorta hurts at Harvard, but a net plus I'd think, for OCI/other transfer opportunities
+1. Marginal (but certainly nonzero) shot at HLS, fair shot at CCN (greater NYU than Columbia), good shot at MVPB on down. I would apply to all T13 and transfer unless getting a scholarship at your current school.

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Wed May 06, 2020 11:46 am

Thanks. Have an almost full scholarship at the current school. Not sure if biglaw is possible for an international student with great grades in this (or upcoming) economy.
plurilingue wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:
BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:I would think no shot. You're meaningfully below their 25th percentile transfer GPA, and your school is good but not unusually so.

Unfortunately for you, I suspect there will be a lot of 4.0 transferee applicants, given the switch to P-F. Lot harder to get it over 2 semesters.
Hey, that's an interesting point. I think that should be true. More disparity in the GPAs if only one semester; convergence if two semesters. Thanks for that!
No problem. On the flip side, your GPA is still very good, and who knows how it would have gone this semester. Sorta hurts at Harvard, but a net plus I'd think, for OCI/other transfer opportunities
+1. Marginal (but certainly nonzero) shot at HLS, fair shot at CCN (greater NYU than Columbia), good shot at MVPB on down. I would apply to all T13 and transfer unless getting a scholarship at your current school.

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by plurilingue » Wed May 06, 2020 1:30 pm

BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:Thanks. Have an almost full scholarship at the current school. Not sure if biglaw is possible for an international student with great grades in this (or upcoming) economy.
What country, if I may ask? I ask because, to some extent, if you are from a country that sends a lot of students to U.S. law schools (i.e., the PRC), you are in competition with those students that have a similar profile for the jobs that exist. For example, a mainland Chinese student getting a J.D. from CLS, NYU or HLS (where PRC students make up 2-5% of the graduating class in any given year) who is in the top 33% of the class is generally a good fit for a firm like Davis, Latham, Kirkland, Sullivan, etc., with a large capital markets and M&A practice in the Greater China region. There is a clear need, both in New York and in Hong Kong/the PRC, for Mandarin Chinese-speaking people with an elite credential like that.

But these days the supply of PRC graduates outstrips demand for them, and the weakness in the financial markets will only further erode demand for these kinds of profiles. More generally, with respect to our current predicament, if someone were to ask me which language proficiency were more useful these days for a career in law between Japanese and Chinese, I would say that, despite the growth of the Chinese economy and the stagnation of the Japanese economy, the supply-demand imbalance counterintuitively strongly points towards Japanese, as there are few Japanese or Japanese-speaking people getting a U.S. J.D. Accordingly, despite the current hiring environment, it may be that your profile is rare enough that being the one, say, German-speaking J.D. looking for a cross-border transactional bankruptcy career, with an emphasis on DIP finance, could be of interest to, say, Freshfields. It really depends on how you market yourself and how rare you are.

In any case, purely based on grades, I would expect you to have a great shot at a large law firm. I would transfer to NYU on up in your situation and try to get something in New York, which has the largest and deepest legal market, with all practice groups typically represented in the New York office. Your ability to demonstrate interest in a field where there is current demand may be very important. I would try to focus on acing some countercyclical classes this fall that demonstrate interest in those practice groups to law firms. They will be hiring for them.

It's really odd, but law firm partners are aware of what their current needs are within the firm, and even though two years later when you start at a firm the needs may be completely different, they are still more likely to hire for those groups that are currently in demand.

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Wed May 06, 2020 2:00 pm

Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it. I am from India. Only a handful of Indians come to the US for a JD. Foreign firms can't set shop in India and some big law firms have India desks in Singapore or other countries. I've talked to several law firm partners who say they want to be a part of the Indian growth story but our protectionism in the legal field has made things complicated. My engineering degree is supposedly sought after and I don't mind doing patent law for a while. But I also have an MBA and experience in corporate strategy and project finance. I've been fortunate enough to have worked in many countries too. But I don't know if any of this would help and if it would, I am wondering if staying back at my current school makes sense. I had a T-13 acceptance last year with 1/3rd scholarship but chose my present school for the money. If times were normal, I was pretty sure I of getting biglaw from here because I've built a solid network (with professors and many local attorneys).

plurilingue wrote:
BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:Thanks. Have an almost full scholarship at the current school. Not sure if biglaw is possible for an international student with great grades in this (or upcoming) economy.
What country, if I may ask? I ask because, to some extent, if you are from a country that sends a lot of students to U.S. law schools (i.e., the PRC), you are in competition with those students that have a similar profile for the jobs that exist. For example, a mainland Chinese student getting a J.D. from CLS, NYU or HLS (where PRC students make up 2-5% of the graduating class in any given year) who is in the top 33% of the class is generally a good fit for a firm like Davis, Latham, Kirkland, Sullivan, etc., with a large capital markets and M&A practice in the Greater China region. There is a clear need, both in New York and in Hong Kong/the PRC, for Mandarin Chinese-speaking people with an elite credential like that.

But these days the supply of PRC graduates outstrips demand for them, and the weakness in the financial markets will only further erode demand for these kinds of profiles. More generally, with respect to our current predicament, if someone were to ask me which language proficiency were more useful these days for a career in law between Japanese and Chinese, I would say that, despite the growth of the Chinese economy and the stagnation of the Japanese economy, the supply-demand imbalance counterintuitively strongly points towards Japanese, as there are few Japanese or Japanese-speaking people getting a U.S. J.D. Accordingly, despite the current hiring environment, it may be that your profile is rare enough that being the one, say, German-speaking J.D. looking for a cross-border transactional bankruptcy career, with an emphasis on DIP finance, could be of interest to, say, Freshfields. It really depends on how you market yourself and how rare you are.

In any case, purely based on grades, I would expect you to have a great shot at a large law firm. I would transfer to NYU on up in your situation and try to get something in New York, which has the largest and deepest legal market, with all practice groups typically represented in the New York office. Your ability to demonstrate interest in a field where there is current demand may be very important. I would try to focus on acing some countercyclical classes this fall that demonstrate interest in those practice groups to law firms. They will be hiring for them.

It's really odd, but law firm partners are aware of what their current needs are within the firm, and even though two years later when you start at a firm the needs may be completely different, they are still more likely to hire for those groups that are currently in demand.

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by plurilingue » Wed May 06, 2020 3:32 pm

BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it. I am from India. Only a handful of Indians come to the US for a JD. Foreign firms can't set shop in India and some big law firms have India desks in Singapore or other countries. I've talked to several law firm partners who say they want to be a part of the Indian growth story but our protectionism in the legal field has made things complicated. My engineering degree is supposedly sought after and I don't mind doing patent law for a while. But I also have an MBA and experience in corporate strategy and project finance. I've been fortunate enough to have worked in many countries too. But I don't know if any of this would help and if it would, I am wondering if staying back at my current school makes sense. I had a T-13 acceptance last year with 1/3rd scholarship but chose my present school for the money. If times were normal, I was pretty sure I of getting biglaw from here because I've built a solid network (with professors and many local attorneys).
Are you paying your current tuition and living expenses with USD or with INR? Or even, if you went to CCN, would you be paying with USD savings or with INR?

I ask because emerging markets currencies are likely to face considerable downward pressure in the coming months. Emerging markets governments and central banks are presented with difficult issues by the coronavirus. Despite the good feelings in the market right now surrounding the enormous Fed interventions and fiscal stimulus by Congress (and like programmes around the world), there is a material risk that we see another risk-off period. There is not much that developing countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and the like can do to stop spread of the virus through the poorer parts of their populations. Indeed, once the virus reaches the slums of Bombay, Jakarta, Istanbul and Rio, there is no real way to engage in social distancing. There is no medical care. There is no personal protective equipment. The doctors may simply refuse to treat people and go on strike altogether since treatment means infecting their families. And the reality is that the virus is probably already there and spreading like wildfire throughout the emerging world.

Capital outflows are occurring from these countries, and there is real stress occurring within the banking system. In India, you can look at share prices of major banks like HDFC, ICICI but also smaller ones like Indusind. They are down ~30-50%, even after a material bounce. If they fall again, there may be a run on the banks -- there was already one before coronavirus on Yes Bank -- and the Reserve Bank of India will have to step in. As such, emerging markets central banks are presented with two options: either they can raise rates and face as massive recession, banking failures, corporate failures, human suffering, and so on, but protect the local currency; or they can slash rates, engage in quantitative easing, protect the local banking system, and protect local population from human suffering but completely debase the currency, let their enormous dollar debts go bust and get shut out of the international capital markets. The path they choose going forward is quite obvious.

And so, here we are on the precipice of another Asian financial crisis. You are probably going to see INR fall quite a bit in the coming months. We can already see that occurring with Brazil, where BRL has adjusted from 4 to 5.7 in the past few weeks, and is probably headed to 7 or beyond. The only reason why this hasn't happened in India so far is because like most commodities-importing emerging markets (contrastingly, Brazil is a net exporter of commodities), the collapse in oil and gas has sterilized the effects of the coronavirus in the very short term. (Brazil has gotten hurt both ways by exporting commodities.) It is my personal suspicion that you will see USD appreciate above 100 INR over the next year. How far INR falls is really anybody's guess.

All this is to say, you have a good thing going with the full-tuition scholarship. To the extent that transferring schools and losing that scholarship would expose you to material currency risk, you would have to consider that point as well. I would definitely file the transfer applications and see where the chips fall, but my guess is you will get into at least one of CCN and will have a choice to make about what you want to do. For your practice interests, you are correct that capital markets and M&A in Singapore and, for a few firms, Hong Kong are the most natural fits for a multilingual international J.D. graduate from India, and wouldn't expose you to the vagaries of the U.S.' H1B policies and, more generally, immigration policies during an election year when one party seems determined to run on xenophobia. And as a non-U.S. national, your take home pay would be much higher in Singapore or Hong Kong because you wouldn't be subject American taxes. (I would look up which firms have a Hong Kong-based India practice since Hong Kong offices of large law firms pay an ~$80k cost of living adjustment on top of your New York salary; in Singapore, there is, egregiously, no cost of living adjustment. Because local income taxes in both jurisdictions is only about 15%, the take-home pay of a first-year Hong Kong associate is around $240k, or about twice what it would be in Manhattan.)

Nevertheless, those two practice groups probably won't be hiring in large numbers next autumn. Indeed, the capital markets work that they do (i.e., Regulation S, Rule 144A offerings -- look these up) primarily allow high-yield issuers in developing countries to raise capital in New York. These are precisely the kinds of Indian credits that will blow up if India decides to effectively devalue the rupee and let the currency blow out by sterilizing the effects of the crisis on the population to the extent it is able to do so. So I don't think, at least right now, that there will be a lot of demand for these lawyers next spring at OCI. And I have to say that Asian offices are extremely prestige sensitive. A median student at a highly ranked law school is more desirable to them than a top student at a lower ranked school simply because the clients in Asia Pacific really only know the top schools. So that's one path.

I note, however, that you have an impressively diverse background. If you are large law firm or bust, and have no preference for any specific practice, I would probably take bankruptcy and any finance-focused class that you can this autumn in law school (wherever you end up) and try to enter the restructuring world, spinning your MBA as being your exposure to the world of distress and distressed assets, and not look back. Bankruptcy is notoriously not prestige sensitive and they will hire primarily based on demonstrated interest and top grades in the field. In that event, staying at your T25 and graduating at the top of the class is not a bad option.

Patent and IP are probably going to be at least somewhat correlated with GDP growth in Silicon Valley and by extension demand for those lawyers in startups/technology companies, and the law firms that service them. I don't know what is going to happen to the U.S. economy -- it's really not obvious given the scale of the stimulus occurring.

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Re: Chances of transferring to HLS? (T25/~top 10%/MBA/Int'l)

Post by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Wed May 06, 2020 4:08 pm

Hey thanks so much! Lot of useful advice. I have been thinking about a lot of what you said. But you bring in some other critical considerations as well. I appreciate your help with that. One of the startups I founded was actually built around restructuring stranded high capex infra projects. I eventually ended up serving on a couple of restructuring boards/committees. I have been planning to use that as a selling point. I will read your post again and try to assimilate the advice.

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